The great cloud storage comparison

The importance of cloud storage comparison
Fewer than 10 years ago, file storage was a major problem. Local drive file storage needed to be abundant enough to store all of our files and photos and be regularly backed up. Accessing files remotely was impossible. Remember those lost thumb drive fiascos? How about the file version nightmares? Fortunately, the memories of pre-cloud storage chaos are in the rear-view mirror now.

Today, we enjoy several cloud file management options with different specialities and features, making thorough cloud storage comparison ultra important. The leading brands make online storage comparison easy with multiple plans to suit all individual and business needs. To help you discover which cloud storage is best for you, we created this cloud storage comparison, a guide about the most popular cloud storage services and what shines about each of them.

Dropbox®, Google Drive™ and Microsoft OneDrive® are the leading cloud file management brands among dozens of options, each with their own particular speciality that makes them stand out in the online storage comparison. Apple’s iCloud is another extremely popular brand, however because it is designed for use with Apple products in the Apple ecosystem, we’ve left it out of our general overview.

Let’s jump into our online storage comparison. For a really in-depth cloud storage comparison into two of the trailblazers, check out our Google Drive vs Dropbox article. 

Cloud storage comparison: Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive

1.    Cloud storage comparison: Dropbox highlights

Dropbox was born from a young businessman’s idea. The startup created by MIT classmates enjoyed fast success. Today, it has more than half a billion users worldwide. If you’re particularly interested in free cloud storage comparison, you’ll like that Dropbox offers a free basic plan with up to 2GB of online storage space. Also, Dropbox is famous for its abundant opportunities to earn more free storage (i.e. completing getting-started guides and friend referrals).

Dropbox is the universally-appealing option in the cloud storage comparison. It performs equally well everywhere – PC, Mac, Android and iOS. When it comes to the critical file syncing function and speed, Dropbox kills the cloud storage comparison competition. Per the results of a study completed by independent Principled Technologies, it syncs 2.3X faster than Google Drive and 4.7X faster than OneDrive. When you consider that file uploading, downloading and sharing takes time – and time is money – Dropbox stands out in the online storage comparison for its reliable and fast syncing performance.

Like many of the world’s leading brands, Dropbox has earned fans and loyal customers worldwide for its signature minimalist, intuitive design. Dropbox makes user interface enhancements multiple times per year. Though Google Drive rivals in this area, we say Dropbox takes the win on this.

Also notable about Dropbox in the free cloud storage comparison is its collaboration focus. Dropbox is integrated with Office 365 so you can edit files in real time and see what edits project collaborators have made. In addition, the Dropbox Paper app is an innovative, unique collaboration tool. Dropbox Paper has earned rave reviews from teams of various sizes. The app enables users to edit a “paper” with text, task lists, code, embedded media, images and more. Dropbox Paper keeps getting better as more users provide feedback for improvement. It’s really standing out in the online storage comparison for its social media-esque features and productivity and communication-boosting functions.

2.    Cloud storage comparison: Google Drive highlights

While Dropbox continues to pick up points in the cloud storage comparison, Google Drive is also a global favorite. All Google accounts have access to it; users simply need to activate it – done with a few clicks. Google Drive is highly Google-ish in all the good ways. Those who swear by Google’s mountainous list of products will adore Google Drive, as it smoothly fits into the Google ecosystem. Like Dropbox, Google Drive offers a free plan, too. Google Drive really makes its mark on the online storage comparison with its sea of integrated apps with just about every function you could imagine. Google Drive also earns some free cloud storage comparison points for its Google Docs offering, which is 100% free, and mirrors Microsoft Word functionality, plus slick collaboration features.

A cloud storage comparison would be incomplete without mention of the mobile app experience. Google deserves a nod here, as its smooth mobile interface really shines. Google Drive also has some great collaboration features – important for online storage comparison for teams of all sizes.

Switching gears to a more technical factor: Admin controls may be important to you. Google Drive offers six distinct admin roles, plus the ability to create custom ones – a function that is important to growing businesses with external collaborators.  

3. Cloud storage comparison: OneDrive highlights

Then there’s the other big brand in the online storage comparison: Microsoft OneDrive, which had a few predecessors but is the youngest player in major league online storage. OneDrive is a logical good choice for people and businesses with substantial Microsoft product usage, as OneDrive fits seamlessly within the MS ecosystem. If you have Windows 10, you already have OneDrive as its baked-in online storage option. OneDrive is available to anyone with a Microsoft account. For free cloud storage comparison, it’s important to note that OneDrive offers a free plan with up to 5GB of space – more than Dropbox but it doesn’t offer the free space earning potential as Dropbox offers.

When it comes to the security aspect of the cloud storage comparison, OneDrive has had zero notable internal or external security threats or leaks. Backed by the robust Windows security infrastructure, it is said to be highly protective of your data. That being pointed out, it is Windows, the primary target for cybercrime and hacking.

On the integrations front, OneDrive earns high marks in this cloud storage comparison. But even more appreciated by its users is OneDrive’s set of collaboration tools. Since it’s a Windows product, OneDrive enables you to edit Office files in real time and see fellow project collaborators’ updates right there within the file – no need to leave the application. There are also helpful commenting and chatting features – definitely notable in the online storage comparison.

Discovering the best fit with a cloud storage comparison starts first defining what you really need from your cloud file management solution. Since the leading options each excel in certain areas, the ideal direction may be to use two or three of these apps for different functions. This best-of-all-apps approach is increasingly common in businesses of all sizes. There are tools to make this approach even more valuable. For example, our software, Cloudfind, works with Dropbox, Google Drive and will soon integrate with OneDrive. It essentially turbocharges the online file storage app’s existing search engines, making it far faster and easier to find what you need. Not sure where you saved a particular file? No problem. Enter a search term and Cloudfind will use the intelligent algorithm we built and scan all file names, contents and user-defined tags within all of your online storage accounts and present accurate results – ultra fast. Learn more about how Cloudfind works.

As it goes with today’s technology as a whole, the free cloud storage comparison is always evolving as the leading brands make enhancements. Be on the lookout for the latest and greatest features so you’ll be as knowledgeable as possible to make the best decisions for you and your business.

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